🧑‍🔬 How This App Got 30 Million Users

Do you use this app?

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Hey – It’s Josh from Psychology of Ads.

Today we’re discussing one of the most popular apps that grew from 1 to 30 million users in only 5 years.

But before we do so, I’m excited to introduce the first sponsor of the newsletter:

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  • The social media channels providing the biggest ROI

I found page 10 (top social channels) and 31 (how marketers are using AI) to be the most interesting.

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Ok, now onto the newsletter for this week…

Grammarly catapulted from 1 million to 30 million users from 2015 to 2020.

Their ads are a masterclass in speaking directly to you.

And they do it with Self-Relevance Effect.

Here’s what I mean:

🧪 The Self-Relevance Effect

The Self-Relevance Effect is our tendency to better remember information when we believe it’s relevant to us.

🤳 How Grammarly Uses the Self-Relevance Effect

Grammarly's ads make their benefits seem personal to you and your success.

They offer you a way to become a smarter, more successful writer.

Each ad is about your emails, your proposals, your ideas.

Grammarly isn’t just a tool, it’s your personal writing coach, that works with you.

It’s mentoring you towards clearer, more effective communication.

Grammarly isn't software for just anyone.

It’s framed as an app for you.

🧠 How You Can Use The Self-Relevance Effect

The key to the Self-Relevance Effect is framing your messaging where the customer is the hero of the ad.

Your product or service should be introduced as the tool that empowers the customer to overcome their obstacles and achieve their personal aspirations.

The Self-Relevance Effect reminds me of one of my favourite books, Building a Storybrand by Donald Miller.

Miller explains how as a brand your customer is always the hero.

And you are just the guide.

Here are some example on how to use the Self-Relevance Effect:

  • Invoke Personal Goals:

    • A financial planning app could say: “The compass to your dream life.”

    • Imagery: a house for a younger audience or retirement for an older audience.

  • Mirror Daily Life:

    • A meal delivery service could say: “Don’t waste your time on meal prep. Spend your time on the things that matter most.”

    • Imagery: Parents at a park with their kids.

  • Address Personal Challenges:

    • A time management tool could say: “Your day, reclaimed—thanks to our smart scheduling.”

    • Imagery: A “Before vs After” ad where the Before is a stressed person at their desk on their phone surrounding by post-it notes and the After is a focused person at their desk with their to-do list complete.

Your aim is to let users feel that your product is the key to unlocking a more competent, confident version of themselves.

So, how will you use the Self-Relevance Effect?

How will you rewrite your brand’s narrative with your customer as the hero?

Lemme know how it goes!

Until next time,


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